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Aussie politicians hit back at Christian groups wanting to ‘legalize bullying’

Aussie politicians hit back at Christian groups wanting to ‘legalize bullying’

St Andews Anglican Cathedral in Sydney (Photo: Wikipedia)

Pro-LGBTI rights lawmakers in Australia this week have called out Christian groups for lobbying to ‘legalise bullying against LGBTIQ students’.

Earlier this week, 34 Anglican school principals said anti-discrimination legislation would undermine their faith’s core values.

Australian Greens senator, Janet Rice, shared letters she had received from religious institutions asking to be exempt from anti-discrimination legislation.

Australians have been pushing Prime Minister Scott Morrison to make good on a promise to ban LGBTI discrimination in schools.

It came following the release of a controversial federal review which recommended granting religious schools the right to reject students on the grounds of their sexuality.

Independent New South Wales MP and Equality Campaign co-chair Alex Greenwich told the Guardian he was seeking an apology from the Anglican church.  He accused them of ‘harmful and damaging conduct’ during last year’s marriage equality campaign.

‘It’s deeply troubling that instead of seeking to repair the church’s relationship with the LGBTIQ community, who you knowingly harmed during the postal survey, your church is now seeking the power to legalize bullying against LGBTI students and teachers in non-government schools,’ Greenwich said according to the Guardian.

‘Not a license to discriminate’

Senator Rice took to social media to share the letters from Christian education institutions who ‘want to continue being able to discriminate against LGBT+ student and staff’.

‘These letters are not about religious freedom, they are window dressing for homophobia and transphobia’ she said on Facebook.

‘Freedom of religion is not a license to discriminate against LGBT+ people’.

She called out some worrying elements of the letters. She said the letters implicitly supported conversion therapies for LGBTI students.

Conversion or cure ‘therapies’ attempt to change LGBTI people’s sexuality or gender identity. They often use therapy, prayer, and even torture or violence to fix the persons perceived ‘brokenness’.

A landmark study last month detailed the abuse suffered by LGBTI Australians and urged lawmakers to urgently legislate to prevent health practitioners, social workers, and teachers from engaging in the practice.

A long-awaited federal review into religious freedoms recommended granting religious schools the right to reject students on the grounds of their sexuality or gender identity.

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